DS-ASD Nick’s Summer Update 2018
We have a lot to share after a three-week blog break. Nick’ been flying the friendly skies and having a blast on vacation! My son Nick is 24 years old and has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism. This week, find out what Nick’s been up to this summer.
Vacation started with a family reunion in Branson Missouri. I haven’t flown solo with Nick in quite a few years, so I was feeling a little anxious. I checked the flight status on my phone, while in the taxi heading to the airport. My jaw dropped, our flight got canceled due to aircraft maintenance. This was the last thing I needed. We were directed to United Airlines Additional Services line. The gentlemen in front of me, smiled at me and Nick, saying “This is the line you don’t want to be in.” I was nervous and saying prayers as we waited for nearly 30 minutes…….
Fortunately, we got re-booked on another flight that was leaving at the same time. Nick and I navigated the corridors of O’Hare as we have done multitudes of times as a family. We made it to the gate with 10 minutes to spare. There was no time for a quick bite to eat, as I had alloted in my timetable. So, I had to buy the most expensive bag of Cheez-Its to make do.
Airport Cheez-Its= Cha-ching $5.00 I should have taken my own advice from Blog #208~ https://nickspecialneeds.com/2018/06/11/blog-208vacation-tips-for-parents-of-a-child-with-special-needs/and packed some snacks.
The family reunion was a great time and opportunity to catch up with everyone. My mom’s side of the family has a reunion every two years. This year was hosted by Uncle Jackie and Aunt Karen with over 100 members attending. The resort and accommodations were wonderful. Best of all the Overbey family give the warmest hugs. Nick had a great time and got a couple of special gifts from his aunt and uncle.
Autism awareness bear from Aunt Mary…
Fire alarms from Uncle Robert…
A few weeks later, we made our annual trip to Virginia and the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Nick’s uncle and aunt have property in both places. Here are the highlights from VA and OBX….
Vacation in VA started out in Nick’s happy place….
The views in Virginia are breathtaking. This property sits overlooking the James River. Uncle Ron was a gracious host on our visit here. Time spent here is about unplugging, relaxing and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere…
We did a few tours while in Virginia. One was Blenheim Vineyards, established in 2000 by owner, singer and artist Dave Matthews. The venue is laid back, with a deck overlooking the vineyards with a nice wine tasting offered. On another day, we toured the Virginia Distillery.
Uncle Ron and Nick’s Dad, Al sampling whiskey….
Nick is not so much of a fan 🙂
Our second part of the trip was in the Outer Banks in North Carolina, also known as OBX. Here are some of the highlights:
When you see this sign, it’s time to exhale, let go of all your worries and chill….
Floating on the lazy river pool…
Nick standing guard at the crow’s nest…..
Nick always manages to find the vacuum at Uncle Ron and Aunt Ali’s beach house. He’s practicing his independent living and job skills……
For the first time in many years of coming to OBX, Nick wanted to spend a lot more time on the beach. He’s never been a fan of the sand, however this year he put on his socks and shoes and came out almost everyday. Wearing tennis shoes and socks, along with sitting in the higher beach chair, helped him cope better with the sensory issues associated with sand!
View of Duck, OBX beach…..
Nick’s Dad and Brother……
Nick and his brother Hank, taking in the sunset at OBX….
Nick flirting with his brother’s girlfriend, Kristin on the crow’s nest 🙂
Cheers from me and Kristin, beach hair, don’t care….
The vibe in the Outer Banks is calm, family oriented and chill on the beach. You take in the ocean breeze and the sound of the waves hitting the sandy shores and feel the tension melt from your body. Turn the knob to Bob, FM 93.7 radio and sip on a cool beverage, leaving your worries behind. Nick feels very comfortable here. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to vacation here each year, at Ron and Ali’s beach home. This year was not the same, without Ron, Ali, Sam and Anna. We send our love and best wishes to the family and wish Ali a speedy recovery. Cheers to making more memories with EVERYONE together, sharing laughs and lives at VA and OBX, next summer.
It’s been a great summer for Nick and our family, along with extended family. Vacations are great to unplug, relax and restore the body and soul. We hope that you get a chance to enjoy a nice vacation. What’s everyone doing this summer?
That’s what is in my noggin this week. 🙂
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